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Why Your AC Unit is Leaking Water and What to Do

Why Your AC Unit is Leaking Water and What to Do

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ac unit - Why Your AC Unit is Leaking Water and What to Do - technician repairing air conditioner

An AC unit is the perfect solution for keeping your house well-ventilated and comfortable – particularly if you live in a warm state. Unfortunately, and just like with any other appliance, air conditioner systems can develop issues over time.

Changes in the weather, constant use, or lack of maintenance can all cause malfunctions. One of the most common issues is leaking or dripping water. But why is your AC unit leaking, and how can you fix it?

Common Reasons for Air Conditioning System Water Leaking

If your air conditioner unit is leaking water, the appliance might fail to work correctly. It’s thus essential to understand what is causing the issue and come up with an appropriate solution, so you don’t have to live without AC.

Below, you will find the main reasons why your air conditioner is leaking water and what you can do to get your AC system back to health.

Reason 1: Not Enough Refrigerant

  • One of the most common causes of dripping water coming from your air conditioner unit is a lack of refrigerant (in many cases, due to a refrigerant leak). When evaporator coils try to convert the liquid into vapor, but you have little or no refrigerant in your AC unit, the air will not come out as cold as it should.
  • The Solution: Since having no refrigerant means the coils have no power to do their job, the solution to this problem is to add more refrigerant liquid.
  • However, you shouldn’t try to do this on your own. An AC technician can do it for you and check if there’s another problem causing a leak.


Reason 2: A Dirty Air Filter

  • Another common reason for your air conditioner leaking water can be your air filter accumulating a lot of dirt – which can keep it from working correctly.
  • If the air conditioners’ filters are clogged or not clean, you can also end up with a frozen coil (which drips when it heats up) and a damaged AC unit.
  • The Solution: Start by cleaning your filters. You should make sure they dry properly because you install them back on your AC unit. During the peak season, you should clean your filters every two weeks and, ideally, replace them every 3 or 4 months.


Reason 3: A Clogged Condensate Drain Line

  • When your air conditioner unit dehumidifiers air, it also collects moisture. This moisture usually contains debris and dirt, which can accumulate over time and lead to your AC leaking water.
  • The Solution: Shut down your unit and empty the drain pan. Locate the drain line and scrub it, removing any gunk. You might require a special pump or vacuum. You can ask an HVAC technician to do this for you.


Reason 4: A Disconnected Drain Line

  • Your drain line might not be appropriately attached, which can easily result in our air conditioner leaking water. This can happen after a repair if the unit was not installed correctly or just due to time passing.
  • The Solution: Contact an HVAC professional to reconnect the line.


Reason 5: A Rusted Drain Pan

  • A rusted or damaged air pan can also be to blame for your air conditioner’s water leaking. The drain pan is located under the AC’s evaporator coil and allows water to travel into the drain line. If it’s rusted, this path can become obstructed. A clogged drain line is quite a common issue with older AC units.
  • The Solution: You will need to clean the drain line, find the cracks, and seal them using a water-resistant sealant. It’s best practice to let an HVAC technician do it, as they will know if your drain pan needs to be replaced.


Reason 6: A Broken Condensate Pump

  • Lastly, a common issue causing AC water leaking can be a broken float switch or condensate pump. When the water in the AC’s reservoir rises, the float switch turns on and triggers a drain outside your home. If either is malfunctioning, you can easily end up with your air conditioner leaking water.
  • The Solution: You cannot fix a broken condensate pump alone. Contact a professional to assess the damage and repair or replace the part.

Our Services

Hawthorne PHC is a leading plumbing, AC, and water filtration company. If you are looking for a quick and efficient solution to your AC unit leaking water, they can help. Call (844) 236-0190 to arrange a free quote with a qualified AC professional.

Don’t let the summer heat get you down – check out our list of air conditioner related articles for more information on staying cool!

Ryan S. Mills

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